Applejack has quite a history and is a very unusual spirit indeed. Instead of being distilled from fermented juice, as most spirits are, Applejack originally was jacked. Jacked? Yes, jacked!
Most likely Applejack, which is simply apple brandy aged in wood barrels for two years, was first produced by accident when a barrel of hard cider was left exposed to the elements. An unwitting farmer must have moseyed over to the that barrel on one cold day when much of the water was locked up in the form of ice. The resulting spirit packed quite a wallop, and once that farmer's head cleared, Applejack was born.
There are other apple spirits, such as the famed Calvados from France's Normandie region, and it's likely that they all originated through this jacking technique. Today all of these spirits are produced through vapor distillation, which removes impurities in the spirit as well as concentrating the alcohol.
In any case, autumn is time for some apple cocktails, and not ones using Sour Apple Pucker my friends. So break out the authentic apple spirits and mix up a batch of something soul warming, like a classic Applejack cocktail or a super enriched Apple Pie!
Jacked Apple Pie
6 oz Apple cider (not hard cider)
1 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
1 oz Applejack
Cinnamon and Whipped cream to garnish
1) Add the cider and spirits to a mixing glass filled with ice.
2) Shake the ingredient until blended and chilled
3) Strain into a cocktail glass
4) Garnish with whipped cream and a sprnkle of cinnamon
This can also be prepared as a mulled cider version. Simply add you spirits to the warmed cider, garnish and serve